Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans: Injury Report, Predicted Lineups and Starting 5s - April 20th, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Zion Williamson attacks the rim
Zion Williamson attacks the rim
Raunak Jaiswal

The New Orleans Pelicans will face a New York-based franchise for a second consecutive time when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets. The two teams have already met once this season, with the Nets running away as comfortable winners on that occasion.

The New Orleans Pelicans enter this tie on the back of three losses on the trot. Zion Williamson has been playing his heart out in April. He's averaging 29.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this month, but Stan Van Gundy's unit is still 3.5 games behind the final play-in spot in the West.

The Brooklyn Nets are also on a patchy run of late. They've lost three out of their last five games. While they're still placed second in the Eastern Conference, losses to championship contenders the LA Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers would've certainly stung the players. Kyrie Irving has been the best performer for the franchise in April so far, averaging 23.8 points and 7.5 assists through eight games.

Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans: Injury Report

Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant

The Brooklyn Nets will be without half their squad against the New Orleans Pelicans. Kevin Durant will miss Tuesday's game with the left thigh contusion that he suffered against the Miami Heat on Sunday. The struggle continues for Durant, who had barely returned from a hamstring injury that kept him out for 23 straight games.

James Harden is close to a full recovery but will sit out for a seventh straight game on Tuesday. Tyler Johnson (right knee soreness) isn't expected to return until May. Meanwhile, both Nicolas Claxton and Reggie Perry have entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.

New Orleans Pelicans

Josh Hart
Josh Hart

Josh Hart continues to be a long-term absence for the New Orleans Pelicans. Hart was a vital contributor for the Pels off the bench with his defense and rebounding but suffered a torn UCL in his right thumb at the start of the month. He's out indefinitely for the time being.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker has also had a breakthrough campaign but suffered an ankle injury against the Houston Rockets on April 4. He's also sidelined for the near future. Veteran forward James Johnson is also doubtful for this contest with a right adductor strain.

Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans: Predicted Lineups

Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving continues to be the lead ballhandler for the team of late. Considering the number of absentees, Bruce Brown is likely to slot in beside Irving to round out the starting backcourt.

Joe Harris will take on a larger scoring load in the absence of Kevin Durant and is expected to start at small forward. Jeff Green will be promoted to the starting lineup as the power forward. Expect Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to split minutes at center in the absence of Nic Claxton.

Landry Shamet, Alize Johnson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will be the only three available players for the Brooklyn Nets on the bench.

New Orleans Pelicans

Lonzo Ball will start as the point guard, but he's gotten used to playing more of a 3-and-D role under Stan Van Gundy. Eric Bledsoe will slot beside Ball as the shooting guard.

Zion Williamson is supposed to be playing the power forward's role but we've seen him facilitate the offense a lot lately. Brandon Ingram will take up the other wing spot in the Pelicans' starting lineup. Steven Adams' performances have declined since the start of the season, but he'll continue as the starting center.

Expect to see a lot of Jaxson Hayes off the bench if James Johnson is sidelined. Naji Marshall and Kira Lewis Jr. are also expected to play considerable minutes.

Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans: Predicted Starting 5s

Brooklyn Nets

Point Guard - Kyrie Irving | Shooting Guard - Bruce Brown | Small Forward - Joe Harris | Power Forward - Jeff Green | Center - Blake Griffin

New Orleans Pelicans

Point Guard - Lonzo Ball | Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe | Small Forward - Brandon Ingram | Power Forward - Zion Williamson | Center - Steven Adams

Also read: Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction & Match Preview - April 20th, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Edited by Raunak Jaiswal

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